Hattiesburg Launches Public Engagement Phase to Bridge Divides and Build Opportunities

Hattiesburg Launches Public Engagement Phase to Bridge Divides and Build Opportunities

Hattiesburg, Mississippi – The City of Hattiesburg is launching a public engagement phase that will aid residential and commercial zoning guidelines for the East Hardy Street and Hall Avenue corridors, establishing a blueprint to allow for growth across economic development, redevelopment and creative place-making opportunities in East Hattiesburg.

Since 2017, the City of Hattiesburg and its partners have worked deliberately to lay the foundation for more than $55 million in projects along the Hall Avenue and East Hardy corridors—including two railway overpasses funded by federal grants and a multi-million-dollar public safety complex. These game-changing transportation and infrastructure projects will be transformational for Hattiesburg, bridging divides and building opportunities for generations to come.

“The last several years were critical in laying the groundwork needed to redevelop this area,” said Mayor Toby Barker. “Now, it’s time to continue that momentum by making sure the City is forward-thinking in streetscape, design guidelines and zoning regulations within these corridors. We want infrastructure investments to foster economic development opportunities while preserving the quality of life for existing neighborhoods.”

Barker added, “We’ve spent the last four-plus years working to be more business and developer-friendly. At the end of this phase, we hope to have a guiding document that will allow for an expansion of that in and along East Hardy Street and Hall Avenue.”

Over the next several months, residents will have an opportunity to participate in a variety of online and in-person feedback methods that will be used to help capture thoughts, concerns and ideas from residents, neighborhoods, business owners and key stakeholders.

“The public plays a vital role in this phase and we look forward to working with neighborhoods, church leaders, business owners and more so that we can hear ideas and concerns,” said Andrew Ellard, Director of Urban Development. “This will take place through one-on-one interviews, virtual town hall meetings and in-person workshop opportunities.”

Ultimately, the feedback will be used to recommend changes in the zoning regulations within these corridors, with the goal of supporting and enhancing the quality of life for neighborhoods along and within Hall Avenue and East Hardy Street. After the recommendations are completed, they will be packaged and presented to Hattiesburg City Council for consideration and adoption.

The City expects to begin the first tier of community engagement by November-December.

To learn more about the planning process, residents can visit http://hattiesburgms.com/buildingopportunities or share questions/concerns via email (planning@hattiesburgms.com).